If available on draft night, New York should take a stab at Oklahoma guard Trae Young. A household name joining the New York Knicks will prove highly beneficial.
Oklahoma star Trae Young’s first visit to the NCAA tournament didn’t go as planned. Ironically, neither have recent years for the New York Knicks.
His team fell in just the first round, though only by five points, as he tallied 28 points, 7 assists, and 5 rebounds. The next morning, he declared for the NBA Draft, and rightfully so.
Young was one of college basketball’s best players this season, breaking records in blazing fashion. He’ll certainly be selected by a team within the lottery…and probably early on.
The skepticism surrounding Young and his abilities, or inabilities, is just why Madison Square Garden should be his first NBA home. It’s the land of “prove it yourself” basketball, with an audience as harsh as the doubters he’s already accustomed to.
Kristaps Porzingis was a former 4th overall pick who fans booed on draft night. There was also Frank Ntilikina, whose defensive skillset was questioned from the moment his name was called on draft night.
Now, Trae Young may take the court in blue and orange and, at first glance, it seems the perfect fit.
The New York Knicks have been tanking for what feels like centuries. Their reward? Porzingis, Ntilikina, and a roster that feels unjustly overpaid.
Per tankathon.com, New York is looking at the 9th overall pick in this year’s draft, their lowest of the last two years.
With a rookie class emerging full to the brim with talent, it seems a true talent won’t escape them. While those of even greater and immediate talent won’t be available (Luka Doncic, DeAndre Ayton, Michael Porter Jr.), it seems Young will be a stretch, though possible, to have at nine.
Is he a risky pick? Of course. The young guard’s potential has yet to officially take shape, and his freshman season could have been a fluke.
Young is often compared to two-time MVP Stephen Curry just as much as he’s called the next Jimmer Fredette. Developing into the latter would be just the Knicks’ luck, as they continue to stray away from fans’ wants, and address what the franchise really needs: a point guard.
Yes, New York drafted Ntilikina last season to fans’ dismay and ignored the likes of Dennis Smith Jr. and Malik Monk. A defensive standout, he’s failed to show any flashes of what the Knicks need in a point guard, at least offensively.
Some will read this post and scoff as if it makes no sense for New York to draft another guard.
Do you think the Knicks acquired Emmanuel Mudiay because they feel comfortable at point guard?
Cue Young, whose 27.4 points and 8.8 assists per game lead the NCAA through the regular season (per ESPN.com).
While he’s often put on a do-it-yourself, Russell Westbrook-esque performance, this kid may be the missing piece in a rebuild that’s gone haywire…
…and for some reason, he’s made it clear that he’d be up for the task when he appeared on ESPN’s “First Take” Wednesday morning.
“I feel like what I went through this year with the media, the criticism and the ups and downs, like that prepared me for if I was in a situation like that and how I’d be able to handle it,” Young said of the pressure of playing in New York.
More than that, Young called it a blessing, people. Seriously, we need to intercept this kid before he speaks to anyone with any sort of experience playing for the Knicks.
“I’d be ready. I know I’d be ready. If I was blessed enough to play in New York City, I’d be honored and willing to get to work and help that franchise win.”
New York bringing in a household name that wants to play for the Knicks hasn’t been a thing since the trade for Carmelo Anthony.
Young swept the nation off their feet, putting on a freshman campaign that headlined SportsCenter multiple times a week. Everyone knows the kid, everyone’s seen his highlights. He’s a phenomenon, one that people want to root for.
When’s the last time New York drafted someone that popular?
I’m not throwing rocks at the Knicks’ last two draft selections, as they both turned out to be fairly smart decisions. However, in a time where every move made by the front office is questioned, wouldn’t it be nice to hear, “ah, that makes sense…good for New York,” as opposed to immediately bashing the organization and the player selected, before game one of said player’s rookie year.
Young’s offensive ceiling and nationwide notoriety make him a prime candidate for New York’s first-round pick–and the next youth to take on the challenge of owning Madison Square Garden.
Now, as much as I’m not throwing rocks at New York’s front office, I am throwing them at fans. We’ve been terribly ill-tempered and impatient with the front office’s drafting process, the “Scrooges” of every other lottery team’s Christmas morning.
This year, let’s just be patient with the toy we’ve never heard of—or Trae Young—whoever Scott Perry provides.